Intriguing links between blood types and COVID-19 outcomes

sqh pv tzfm olrska wu t e
Credit: Jake Danna Stevens/The Times-Tribune/AP

Why do some people infected with the coronavirus suffer only mild symptoms, while others become deathly ill? 

Geneticists have been scouring our DNA for clues. Now, a study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Variations at two spots in the human genome are associated with an increased risk of respiratory failure in patients with Covid-19, the researchers found. One of these spots includes the gene that determines blood types.

Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

ADVERTISEMENT

The study was equally striking for the genes that failed to turn up. The coronavirus attaches to a protein called ACE2 on the surface of human cells in order to enter them, for example. But genetic variants in ACE2 did not appear to make a difference in the risk of severe Covid-19.

Related article:  If you survive the coronavirus, do you gain immunity? And for how long?

The findings suggest that relatively unexplored factors may be playing a large role who develops life-threatening Covid-19.

Scientists have already determined that factors like age and underlying disease put people at extra risk of developing a severe case of Covid-19. But geneticists are hoping that a DNA test might help identify patients who will need aggressive treatment.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend